Thought Zero – It’s time for another hour of Ring of Honor television. Tonight will be Roderick Strong’s last match in ROH as he takes on Dalton Castle. Let’s see what else is in store.
1) First match on the docket is Kamaitachi (with Christopher Daniels) versus Jay White. I have yet to see either of these young men wrestle, but I’ve heard good things. Kamaitachi starts off by ignoring the handshake of honor and tossing his jacket into White’s face and then attacking. Both these guys are very quick which fits in nicely with ROH. Side note – there is no way Kamaitachi’s hair color is natural, unless radioactive red is some new human pigment mutation.
2) Daniels hits White with a short-arm clothesline on the outside behind the ref’s back. That, in and of itself, is not that interesting. But we get a great camera shot where we see, on the other side of the ring, Nigel MacGuinness jump up to scold Daniels and wag his finger that if he does it again, he’s going to throw him out. Nigel sure is becoming the old guy about to turn his hose on those darn kids on his lawn. Only in this case, that darn kid is just trying to get to his nursing home quicker. I joke, I joke.
3) Kamaitachi works the leg for a good bit of time after White missed a charge on the outside and hit the rail. And even during his comeback, Jay White keeps selling the leg pretty well. Too many wrestlers forget that they just spent five minutes having a body part destroyed. White winds up winning with something called the Kiwi Crusher (?) which sort of looks like a cradle Falcon Arrow. Side note – If your first name is Jay, Ring of Honor has a place for you apparently.
4) After the match, Kazarian comes out and The Addiction beat down White. So, of course, here come the Motor City Machineguns for the save. And because everyone is here and have seen at least one wrestling show in their lives, this becomes a six-man tag team match, verbally authorized by Nigel at ringside. If I were the cynical type or if this were WWE, I would say this is just a way to give Kamaitachi a win back.
5) Kevin Kelly mentions that Frankie Kazarian is an 18 year veteran. That can’t be right, can it? I mean, Y2K was just a couple years ago, right? Damn, I’m old… Back to the match, The Addiction and Tamaitachi control most of the match, but Jay White gets the hot tag and NOW his leg is miraculously healed. The MCMG take out Kazarian and Tamaitachi and Jay White gets another Kiwi Crusher on Christopher Daniels for the pin. Well, they are definitely trying to push the Young Lion.
6) We are now introduced to Shane Taylor and Keith Lee. And who are Shane Taylor and Keith Lee, you ask? I don’t know, they haven’t told me yet. Quiet down and let me listen to what Kevin Kelly has to say… Ok, they are apparently the largest team in Ring of Honor history and it seems they are here to feud with War Machine. My guess is this is so people (okay, me) don’t keep wondering why the belts are not on War Machine but The Addiction.
7) The opponents for Shane Taylor and Keith Lee are two people I have never seen before either. I will state their names though, as I anticipate they will be squashed beyond recognition in mere moments. Good day to you, Victor Andrews and James Anthony. And as expected, Taylor and Lee with a quick win. War Machine charges the ring after (that was nice of them to wait until the match was over), but that doesn’t go so well when Keith Lee goes all big man flying and dives over the top rope onto them. Okay, that was pretty darn impressive.
8) Now for something that doesn’t interest me at all. BJ Whitmer and Kevin Sullivan come out to talk about how Steve Corino turned his back on his legacy of evil but Whitmer didn’t. Now Whitmer and Sullivan want Corino to accept the fact that he is evil and to cause chaos with them. Or something like that. I really don’t care. It is 2016. I have no need to see Kevin Sullivan on my screen. Or BJ Whitmer. Or Steve Corino for that matter. At least not in any sort of storyline with each other.
9) Main event time – Roderick Strong versus Dalton Castle. The announcing team puts over Roderick Strong heavy as one of the best of all time. I know it is his last match in ROH, but they are sort of overdoing it a bit. I mean, he isn’t dying, he just didn’t resign with the company. Good opening to the match with some solid mat wrestling between the two men. Castle’s amateur background really comes across when you know to look for it. It seems he has added some more suplexes/amateur throws into his repertoire as well. And Strong is as quick as ever, including a pretty sweet snap butterfly suplex.
10) Hard hitting sequence where Strong destroys both boys and then hits an Olympic slam-ish move on Castle into the ring post. The boys survived though and even enlisted the help of the crowd to help fan Castle later on. I also laughed at the boys jumping up to try to fan Castle when he was on the top rope about to be hit with a superplex. Let me add a sub-point in honor of Roddy’s last match in ROH.
10) A) I liked this match in that Strong put over Castle very well. Castle won a hard-fought victory by reversing a high knee strike attempt into the Bangarang. Before that though, Castle kicked out of a sick kick by Strong. To me, I think that shows class that Strong didn’t mind letting Castle kick out of that move. Just as much as eating the pin. So, even though I don’t love Roderick Strong as much as some, I have to say good job. Between his match with Mark Briscoe and this match, that was a nice way to give the rub on your way out.
Next week they are dedicating the whole hour to Kyle O’Reilly versus Jay Lethal for the ROH title. not sure exactly why O’Reilly should get another title shot, but it should be a great match, so I’m cool with it. Plus, I really like how ROH hypes their title matches and their wrestlers.
Earlier in the show, they did a nice little promo piece on this match with the cuts back and forth between the competitors. I like the way they do that. It really does a good job of building excitement for the match. Another thing I like is how Ring of Honor has been letting the wrestlers talk about how good their opponent is and how they are going to prove themselves even better. It is a pet peeve of mine when a wrestler cuts a promo belittling his or her opponent. If you wind up making the opponent appear to be not worthy, why should we care to watch. That is why John Cena sucks in building up a big match through promos whereas Paul Heyman is a master of it.
Basically, I like how Ring of Honor never says “Our champion shouldn’t be champion” or “The opponent is not worthy to challenge for the title.” They make it clear that Jay Lethal is the best and everyone is trying to be better so they can be the best. It is sometimes a little thing to consider, but it makes watching wrestling that much more enjoyable.
Until next week…
Tags: b.j. whitmer, Dalton Castle, Jay Lethal, Jay White, Kamaitachi, Keith Lee, Kyle O'Reilly, Motor City Machineguns, Roderick Strong, Shane Taylor, The Addiction, War Machine